The No. 1 no-no when it comes to renovating a house is living in it when such a tumultuous event is taking place. And yet that’s exactly what Bryan Baeumler and his family did when they decided to move their lives from busy Oakville, Ont., to the Niagara Escarpment, an event documented in House of Bryan: In the Sticks, debuting Sunday on HGTV.
“Looking back through this journey, moving my family out to barely a farm to what it is now blows the first two House of Bryan series out of the water,” he says from a sunny clime where he’s on vacation with his wife (and TV show co-star) Sarah. “It was just such an adventure and so much fun. The chaos that ensued with having four kids … there is a lot of stuff that goes on in this show. It’s unbelievable.”
The family really had no plans to move from Oakville, where they constructed the “forever home” documented in Season 1. But the allure of living away from the trappings of the city was just too great for Baeumler and Sarah, who purchased a large property set back from a country road and got to work. The original home, an A-frame with a soaring ceiling in the main room, would largely stay intact save for some extensive updating. A large extension built onto the original would more than double the home’s size while providing the rustic environment on 16 acres that Baeumler experienced as a kid.
Unfortunately, they had to sell their home in Oakville so that they had the funds to start work on the new, meaning moving their belongings–and themselves–up to the new place. Drama, tears, setbacks, triumph and happiness was captured for posterity with In the Sticks. Bowing on Sunday with two back-to-back episodes, viewers will see everything that occurred during the process, with no filter keeping out the bad times from the good. Baeumler and Sarah wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This is the way we live our lives,” he explains. “Sarah and I look at something and say, ‘What if we get hit by a bus tomorrow?’ and we go out and do it. Life is all about an adventure and I think too many people live by the rule book and live conservatively. We say, ‘Screw it! Get it done.'”
That’s not to say the Baeumler’s adjusted to life in the country immediately. Things they hadn’t considered when buying the property was switching over to a septic system for waste and a gas tank for fuel. They also quickly learned that a quick two-minute run for some milk in the city wasn’t the same in the country. The most important things ceased to be what was in the fridge and more about spending time together.
“What it’s changed is that we spend that extra five or 10 minutes with the kids,” he says. “It has changed our family dynamic way, way for the better. It’s been great.”
House of Bryan: In the Sticks debuts Sunday with two back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.